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Frequently Asked Questions

How is the quality of Nurse Practitioner (ARNP) care? 

The care that ARNPs provide is exceptional according to numerous government and private studies. The U.S. Congress, Office of Technology Assessment says, "Nurse Practitioners provide care whose quality is equivalent to that of care provided by physicians". A recent article in JAMA (Journal of American Medical Association) also affirmed the quality of care of Nurse Practitioners, stating in the conclusion "In an ambulatory care situation in which patients were randomly assigned to either nurse practitioners or physicians, and where nurse practitioners had the same authority, responsibilities, productivity and administrative requirements, and patient population as primary care physicians, patients' outcomes were comparable."


Are Nurse Practitioner services reimbursable?

Yes. With all health care providers, check with your insurance plan for details pertaining to your exact coverage.


Can my nurse practitioner prescribe medications? 



Isn't psychotherapy and counseling just for "sick" people?

No. There are stigmas about who participates in therapy and what happens in therapeutic sessions. For example, some believe that if you go to a therapist then you must really be struggling. Stigmas and stereotypes often prevent people from seeking out the help that they need, and then everyone pays for other people's untreated conditions in so many ways--just see all the true drama making the nightly news. Persons who participate in therapy are often smart and wise, knowing true value of helpful services when they see it. Often, the sooner one can receive treatment the better one’s chances are of preventing problems from worsening. Therapy is not just for people who are in crisis. People who are having mild difficulties in living, wanting to explore their values and beliefs, or looking to improve any aspect of their life can find therapy to be beneficial.


What can I expect from therapy?

Although therapists may differ somewhat in their approaches, there are similarities that characterize the helping relationship. In the beginning stage of therapy, your therapist will ask you about your concerns to gain a deeper understanding of you and your issues. As therapist proceeds, trust between you and your therapist grows and a working partnership is developed. Using a variety of approaches, your therapist will help you explore your feelings, make decisions, and resolve concerns. As you gain understanding of yourself and your feelings, your therapist will work with you to develop and improve your life. As you work to resolve your concerns, your stress level might temporarily increase and affect your schoolwork, work or relationships. Your therapist is committed to respecting both you and your difficulties and is concerned that you receive the best possible treatment. We look forward to assisting you with your personal and career concerns. No result is guaranteed and each patient responds individually.

What will happen during my appointment with the psychiatric provider?


Your first appointment with the psychiatric provider will typically last about an hour. During this initial evaluation, she/he will want to discuss your concerns and symptoms, as well as any medical or emotional problems you or any family members have experienced. They will also ask about your use of medications, drugs, and alcohol.


Does seeing a psychiatric provider mean I will be put on medications?

No. The psychiatric provider will make recommendations based on this initial evaluation.
It will be your decision to accept or decline these recommendations. If it appears that medication would be useful, the provider will discuss with you all that is involved in taking this medication, such as benefits, risks, side effects, medication and dietary restrictions, and alternatives to the medication treatment. It is extremely important that you have sufficient information and time to make an informed decision about your treatment. You are encouraged to be open with the provider. Please do not hesitate to ask any questions you might have (e.g., onset of benefits and potential side effects).


What if I stop taking my prescribed medication?

Stopping medication is, of course, your choice. However, please discuss this with your counseling and psychiatric providers before doing so. Some medications can cause extremely unpleasant and possibly dangerous effects when stopped abruptly.


How do I make an appointment to receive psychiatric services when I am not currently being seen by a counselor?

To receive psychiatric services you must make an appointment for a personal consultation. During this appointment you will meet with a provider to help you determine the best course of action. To schedule a personal consultation, call us at
Rainier Biobehavioral Institute:(253) 299-6556


Will information from my appointment with the psychiatric provider be entered into my records at the center?

Only what is necessary for your care is recorded in a file that is handled in strict confidence under the regulations that guide the provider-patient relationship. Your provider enters basic information, such as the fact that you came for services. Additional information that is noted might include whether you attended your appointment, the outcome of the meeting, and your reaction to any medication you were prescribed. Your individual patient file includes data such as a psychiatric assessment, diagnosis, treatment plan, type and amount of medication prescribed and your reactions to the medication.


Your psychiatric provider may share information in order to coordinate treatment. However, all records are confidential and no information will be released outside of RBI without notifying you/obtaining your written consent to release the information. Rare, but very important, exceptions to this policy are made when there is the possibility of imminent danger to self or others, child/dependent abuse, court order, or where otherwise required by law. Your Privacy is always guarded.



What is a psychiatry provider?

Psychiatry providers are trained as physicians or nurse practitioners. They specialize in mental health and behavioral sciences and have the expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of psychological and behavioral concerns, including the use of medication and psychotherapy. Nurse Practitioners (ARNP's) also provide a unique blend of health maintenance and health care that form the core of holistic service.


Professional staff seek to know each patient well, having the foreknowledge to help understand the special psychiatric and emotional needs of both men and women, families, and the military community. We offer personalized care providing high quality services, including, but not limited to:


  • Obtaining helpful health histories
  • Performing assessments and examinations
  • Ordering and interpreting diagnostic/laboratory studies
  • Diagnosing and treating
  • Making referrals when appropriate
  • Counseling and teaching health and nutrition
  • Prescribing and managing medication therapy
  • Providing continued/follow-up services and coordinating care
  • Providing psychotherapy


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